Trumpet Vine Planting Guide
A Show that Goes On and On, Up and Over
Many of our favorite garden beauties bloom in the early to mid summer, leaving the later part of the season a bit barren. That's if you fail to do a little planning. With some thought, brilliant color can continue right up until the cold settles in. Trumpet vines are terrific late summer through autumn performers, available in a trio of warm, rich shades. These vines tend to follow the old adage "the first year it sleeps, the second it creeps and the third it leaps." So, while warmer climates usually promote faster growth, trumpet vines sometimes take a little while to really get going. But when they do, stand back. Up the side of that old shed. Over that ugly chain link fence. Across that bare bank. Beautiful. Plan on many years of copious blooms from a single vine. Choose your site carefully then enjoy a cascade of blossoms there for a long time. What are you waiting for?
- Find a location where the soil drains well. If there are still water puddles 5-6 hours after a hard rain, scout out another site. Or amend the soil with the addition of organic material to raise the level 2"-3" to improve the drainage. Peat moss, compost, ground bark or decomposed manure all work well and are widely available. Trumpet vines tolerate poor and compacted soils but they don't appreciate waterlogged locations.
- Site your trumpet vine where it will receive full day sun or lightly filtered sunshine. In marginally hardy areas (warmer micro climates in zone 4) site against a stone or brick wall.
- Dig a hole and situate the vine so the soil in the pot is level with that in your bed. Tuck the plant in and tamp down the surrounding soil to remove any air pockets.
- After planting, water your vine generously, soaking the soil to settle it around the root ball. Plants develop sprouts quickly in warm soil. If the soil is still quite cool, wait until it warms before planting outdoors.
- Water as needed during the growing season, depending on the amount of moisture Mother Nature provides. Trumpet vines need an average amount of water, about 1" per week and perhaps a bit more during the first season as they settle in.
- After flowering has finished for the season leave the foliage in place; don't cut it off. The leaves will gather sunlight and provide nourishment for next year's show. In late autumn or early spring trim your buddleia lightly to shape, or hard (to within 6" of the ground) to encourage all new spring growth. For gardeners in warm climates, water your buddleia sparingly in the winter.
- Water lightly through the fall, and sparingly during the first winter in warm areas if your climate tends to be dry. Your vine will rest for a few months before beginning its next growing cycle in the spring.
Pots, Barrels, Tubs & Urns
Trumpet vines grow to be quite large and typically outgrow even sizeable containers. For that reason, we don't recommend planting in pots or tubs.